FORETOKEN are today premiering their new single and its accompanying music video, Serpent King’s Venom, via Distorted Sound. Serpent King’s Venom is the third track to be taken from the Virginia, VA blackened death metal duo’s forthcoming sophomore album, Triumphs, which is set for release via Prosthetic on March 17.
LISTEN TO SERPENT KING’S VENOM AND WATCH THE VIDEO VIA DISTORTED SOUND HERE.
Serpent King’s Venom will be on all streaming platforms on Friday, March 3
Pre-order Triumphs via the Prosthetic webstore here | Pre-order via Bandcamp here.
Speaking on the single premiere, Steve Redmond (guitar and orchestration) comments: “Serpent King’s Venom is one of the groovier tracks on Triumphs. When we approached writing the song, we felt the album needed that slower, heavier change of pace. We wanted it to be dark and heavy but still maintain melody. I think we managed to capture that here. We hope everyone digs this one!”
Vocalist, Dan Cooley adds: “Zahhak, the Serpent King is finally here! When I was researching stories for Triumphs this was one of the first I decided on including because it’s so awesome. It’s also the first song written where there’s a dialogue between two characters (Zahhak and Ahriman). Overall, we think we captured the essence of the story and hope you enjoy the song as much as we do.”
Following their 2020 debut long player, Ruin, FORETOKEN’s latest album sees the group expand upon their foundations of meticulously lofty soundscapes, mythological narratives, and elaborate musicianship. Utilizing traditional narratives of myths, legends, and folklore from a wide range of Western and Middle Eastern origins, Triumphs examines the ignored collateral damage of the cost of victory through these established mythos. Stories throughout Triumphs include the tale of the Persian epic poem Shahnameh, written by the Persian poet Ferdowsi (referenced in Serpent King’s Venom), Zhong Kui, the mythological Chinese King of Ghosts (Demon Queller) and Mexico’s The Weeping Woman, La Llorona (The Wraith That Weeps).
Taking musical inspiration from melodic and tech death metal, as well as power, folk and black metal, FORETOKEN’s core sound on Triumphs is bolstered by subtle and captivating use of traditionally Scandinavian, Southeast Asian, and Middle Eastern instruments for atmospheric depth within the album’s 51 minute runtime. Reunited once again with Hannes Grossmann (Hate Eternal, Alkaloid, Obscura, Necrophagist, Blotted Science, and Triptykon) on drums and boasting a guest guitar appearance by The Black Dahlia Murder’s Brandon Ellis on penultimate track A Tyrant Rises As Titans Fall, FORETOKEN’s technical prowess shines through without overpowering any of the nine songs’ rhythmic charge.Triumphs was penned throughout 2021 by both Steve Redmond (guitar and orchestration) and Dan Cooley (vocals), with the pair settling on eight original compositions and a cover of Naglfar’s I Am Vengeance. Grossmann then commenced drum tracking at his own studio, Mordor Sounds, with guitars recorded by Redmond himself and vocals captured at Trepan Studios by Tony Petrocelly, before mixing and mastering duties were placed in the accomplished hands of Jacob Hansen (Arch Enemy, Fleshgod Apocalypse, The Black Dahlia Murder, and more) at Hansen Studios.
Visually tied together by portrait artist Tomas Honz’s detailed cover painting, depicting a protagonist’s journey in the aftermath of battle, Triumphs aesthetic component is a symbolic embodiment of the duo’s enduring fascination with historial consequence via a folkloric lens. Taking fables and fantasy to extreme sonic heights, FORETOKEN’s Triumphs is as lofty in ambition as it is accomplished in its musicianship and songcraft.
1. Revenant of Valor
2. Demon Queller
3. The Wraith That Weeps
4. The Labors
5. Serpent Kings Venom
6. His Riastrad
7. Devil o’ the Sea
8. A Tyrant Rises as Titans Fall
9. I Am Vengeance (Naglfar cover)
Dan Cooley – vocals
Steve Redmond – guitar and orchestration
Hannes Grossmann – drums (recording only)